The Trump administration is considering taking unilateral action on measures like enhanced unemployment insurance and a moratorium on evictions if it can’t agree with Congress on an economic relief bill, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
But the White House would still rather get a bill through Congress, The Post reported, and President Donald Trump has said his priorities are boosted unemployment checks and an eviction moratorium.
Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday he was examining possible executive actions on evictions.
Negotiations between the White House and Democrats are at an impasse over unemployment insurance.
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The Trump administration is weighing whether to take unilateral action if it doesn’t come to an agreement with Congress on another economic relief bill, The Washington Post reported on Monday, citing two sources who were granted anonymity to discuss the deliberations.
No final decisions were made, and the administration would still rather get legislation through Congress, the sources told The Post.
President Donald Trump said last week that his biggest priorities in negotiations over another stimulus bill were an extension of enhanced unemployment insurance and another moratorium on evictions.
On Monday, Trump said he would examine possible steps to take on evictions without detailing the type of executive authority he would draw from.
“A lot of people are going to be evicted but I’m going to stop it because I’ll do it myself if I have to,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I have a lot of powers with respect to executive orders and we’re looking at that very seriously right now.”
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Both measures on unemployment and evictions were implemented under the economic relief package enacted in March. But they expired in late July, and Congress hasn’t extended them.
It’s not clear how the White House could circumvent Congress on the matter, but the administration has pushed the boundaries of executive power over the past three years.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Discussions on a spending package between White House officials and top congressional Democrats are at an impasse on unemployment insurance, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
Republicans unveiled their $1 trillion spending package four days before the $600 federal unemployment benefit ended on Friday. They proposed cutting the benefit to $200 a week for two months and designing a 70% wage-replacement program to start in October.
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But Democrats want to extend the $600 supplementary payments — that was part of their $3 trillion spending package that the House passed in mid-May. They also approved a year-long extension of the eviction moratorium.
Nearly 30 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, per the Labor Department.
GOP lawmakers proposed a skinny bill that would deal only with unemployment benefits and the moratorium on evictions. Democrats rejected it and are pushing to pass their more expansive legislation to address a range of healthcare and economic priorities like emergency fiscal aid to states.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, met on Saturday to continue the talks. But a deal remains elusive, Pelosi told ABC News on Sunday.
“The fact is we will be close to an agreement when we have an agreement,” Pelosi said.
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